Countdown To Iran

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Countdown To Iran.”


For two decades the cat and mouse game with Iran’s development of nuclear weapons has gone on while Iran is leading State sponsor of terrorism and one of the worst human rights abusers.  Iran has marched forward with its desire for a global caliphate and has gone on threatening death and destruction in the Middle East and beyond and murdering with impunity. 


Now the end game is almost here…


The U.S. and Israel are committed to preventing Iran’s existential threat and may G-d help us. 


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Radio-Activity

So earlier in the week, I had a great opportunity to visit the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR). 


It was fascinating to see the reactor, control room, and all the cool experiments–not things you see every day, right? 


For safety, we had to wear devices that measured radioactivity and also go through machines that checked us afterward. 


When one person in our group went through the scanner, it went off with a red alert, and the poor individual obviously got really scared–like OMG is there some contamination on me or something.


But they went through again and it turned out it was just a false positive, thank G-d. 


I guess these really can be dangerous substances to work around, but still so marvelous how the scientists harness these neutron beams and direct them to all sort of fascinating scientific experiments. 


Being around all this science makes me think whether if I could do it all again–wondering aloud–whether I would pursue an education in one of these amazing scientific disciplines and work in the lab like a “mad scientist”–exploring and discovering new things and figuring out the mysteries of the universe and how the world really works. 


What a fun, fun field to work in!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal and Art by 4th grader, Phillip Kenney)

To Be A Free People

Hatikvah Herzl Stamp
This week we saw an absolutely horrific terroristic attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem.



Two Palestinian cousins brutally hacked and stabbed to death 4 Rabbis’s (3 American citizens) while at prayer and killed a policeman trying to stop them. 



I read  how one Rabbi actually had his arm wrapped in the holy Tefillin (phylacteries) completely severed from off his body. 



By the time the attack was done, the synagogue was filled with pools of blood of those in the middle of prayer to the Almighty G-d. 



I thought to myself of the Israel anthem, the Hatikvah, that speaks to the Jewish hope of being a free people in the land of Zion and Jerusalem (where this attack and many others have been happening):



“As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,

With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,

Then our hope – the two-thousand-year-old hope – will not be lost:

To be a free people in our land,

The land of Zion and Jerusalem.”



I wondered where is the yearned for “freedom” of our people post slavery; jailings and torture; destruction, rape, murder, and exile; from Crusades to Auto-da-fes, Pogroms, and Holocaust.



Indeed, our history is not only punctuated by discrimination, blind hatred and anti-semitism, but also by extermination and genocide.



Now in a beautiful Middle East democracy called the State of Israel–where the deserts bloom and technological innovation thrives, where people of three major religions worship in their Holy places, how can so much terror still exist:

– Tens of thousands of missiles targeting population centers

– Tunnels streaming with terrorists trying to kidnap and murder the innocent

– Suicide bombers striking buses, cafes, pizzerias, and more.

– Terrorists driving into crowds of pedestrians, stabbing people with screwdrivers, hitting them with lead pipes, throwing stones and firebombs, slitting the throats of babies, taking and murdering children from the bus stops, and hacking to death Rabbis at prayer…

– Moreover, with Iran, there is a stated existential threat from them to annihilate Israel [via Nukes]…the clock is ticking down.



No nation on Earth would live with this, and neither should the Jewish people!



Israel cannot have Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad as well as nation state terrorists striking at their heart from near, far, and from within. 



The immediate response should be a declaration of Jerusalem as the united Capital of Israel, period.



Subsequent decisions of borders, boundaries, and terms to be decided by the State of Israel to meet their security needs. 



Freedom to live, work, play, and worship without terror, non-negotiable. 



Peace underwritten with security by G-d’s promise to the Jewish people…end of discussion. 



Finally, as to Iran (and others) who openly threaten Israel with WMD–Israel and the U.S. must preempt and hit them staggeringly hard–the best defense is an striking offense.



The terror must end here and now, once and for all. 



O’ Lord, give us freedom from bigotry, hatred, and terror–O’ Lord, give us peace. 



(Source Photo: here with attribution to zeevveez)

Iran: Engagement or Containment

Dangerous Dealings

As the deadline for the now 2nd round of current negotiations with the dangerous Iranian mullahs fast approaches on November 24, we need to remember who we are dealing with over there.


Despite nearly endless negotiations that have gone on since 2002 (or for almost 13 years), including yet another round of new talks that began 14 months ago and which were already extended once again…


Just this week, no less than Iran’s Foreign Minister and lead negotiator made clear their position on nukes and it is not favorable to coming to any real agreement:


Here in his own words:

  • Iran insists that the U.S. must bow to Iran’s “Inalienable Nuclear Rights.”
  • Despite our wanting to believe that a deal is possible, he states, “Some [Western] countries have fallen prey to miscalculations [about Iran’s position] due to wrong analysis.”
  • He goes on to say, “U.S. sanctions against Iran “have left no impact” on their position. 


While our goal may be for a peaceful Iran without nuclear WMD, “a goal without a [genuine] plan is just a wish!”


Hmm…is this a real partner for peace?


It is recognized that:


1) Iran has one of the world’s worst records of human right abuses of their own people! 

2) “Iran is the single largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”


3) Iran threatens “annihilation” and Genocide to their neighbors in the West. 


We cannot fool ourselves anymore that Iran will ever voluntarily give up their desire or pursuit of The Bomb!


Enough rewarding Iran with billions of dollars in incentives just for coming to the table with no meaningful results. 


Yes ideally, we would all love to celebrate this Thanksgiving with a REAL deal for peace.


However, we don’t need a bogus agreement or another meaningless extension that gets the Iranians that much closer to nuclear breakout capability and the world to the next major regional or even global war. 


Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”


Perhaps it’s time to change the playbook then…


Engagement is an excellent opportunity with a partner that is willing to seriously negotiate, but containment and ultimately military intervention is necessary when talks are simply a long-running ruse or sham to dangerous nuclear WMD and world terror. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

For The Love Of America

Flag
Tomorrow is Veterans Day and we remember and honor the sacrifices of so many in securing our freedom and democracy.



Yet, recent events seem to indicate that we are straying from our principles and values as a nation.

  • November 6, 2014: Aside from trying to cut what many are calling a “bad deal” with Iran over their dangerous nuclear WMD program, there are now “private letters” being written to partner with arch enemy Iran against ISIS.
  • November 8-9, 2014: Just 2-3 days later, we once again see the tyrannical and genocidal intentions of Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei calling for the annihilation of one of our closest allies, the State of Israel. 



Hmm…Israel is designated the U.S.’s “Major Strategic Parter,” while Iran is a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism.



Short memories? Iran took more than 60 American Hostages for 444 days in the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979 and they have an ongoing “Horrific Human-Rights Record.” 



Was all the sacrifice just for naught–for the love of America, what are we doing?



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Be Relevant, Live!

Irrelevant
“Hello Irrelevant. My name is Andy.”



The photo above was taken today near a prominent university in Washington, D.C. 



When our youngsters in the Capital of the United States–the holders of future creativity and energy are feeling irrelevant–we as a country are in serious trouble. 



Yet, don’t we all feel irrelevant at times?



We see and hear so much that is somehow wrong in the world and feel powerless to stop it, change it, or do anything about it that really makes a difference. 



Everyday we are witness to people’s personal misdeeds that should never be done, let alone contempalted; large, medium, and even smaller organizations doing the wrong thing for profit or power; and governments making decisions for political reasons and not common sense reasons, or for the good of the people. 



And how do we feel in all this — relevant or irrelevant? 



Can we as people endowed with G-d’s lifeforce and heavenly spirit, formulate a position that touches people’s hearts and minds to do the right thing for the right reasons–and can we speak it articulately enough, loud enough, convincingly enough to make a genuine difference?



Just as a single example in today’s Wall Street Journal, an editorial about Yucca Mountain, the place designated for nuclear waste disposal–that is supposed to meet safety requirements for the next “million years” (I think most of us would be happy if we achieve even half that estimate)–and has already cost us 30 years of study and $15 billion, but yet continues to remain stuck in a politcial quagmire–why?



I beleive we can all think of numerous health, safey, and wellbeing issues affecting us, our families, communities, and this country that are are in a similar state of paralysis and dysfunction. 



Why can’t we move forward–is there no one relevant out there anymore?



We can’t afford to let ourselves sink into feelings of despair, inadequancy, or irrelevancy to the great tasks at hand–whether from things like Ebola, ISIS, or financial meltdown. 



We must find our inner voices, our moral rectitude, and our courage to speak truth to power, to stand firm for right against wrong.



It’s understable to feel irrelevant, but it’s not sustainable to show it. 😉 



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Panic, Technology To The Rescue

Panic
Who us panic?

– ISIS is threatening the West with “dangerous new extremism

– Syria’s death toll tops 170,000 with more than 10,000 believed tortured to death. 

– Boko Haram is still abducting young girls (and boys).

– Iran says no deal on nukes

– Ebola is “out of control.”

– China is emergent as the U.S. pivots east and space becomes militarized with anti-satellite weapons. 

– Russia is resurgent (Crimea is history to Ukraine).

– The national deficit only hints at the true extent of our unfunded liabilities from entitelements.

– The economy is bubbling over the top again, warns Robert Shiller.

Racial and income inequality continues to divide America (case in point, Ferguson MO).

– Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has an arrest record.

– Almost half the world–3 billion people–live in poverty on less then $2.50 a day. 

Ah, if only technology could solve all our global problems–and this is a big list and not by any means comprehensive.

It’s a race of the “world is exploding all over” with technology trying to make it better with more and better information, innovation, productivity, security, and cures.

Almost like the war of good over evil–we may lose the battle, but hopefully (let’s pray) in the end, we will win the war. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)